Brands have been talking about embracing an Always On strategy for a long time. Now, some are actually doing it -- responding in (almost) real time to customers and events. Which is exciting. And terrifying.
At one big digital ad agency I worked at, Always On meant we no longer had months of meetings to build consensus, focus group ideas, or get everyone in Legal onboard. We had a day or three at most to come up with awesome ideas that could be executed instantly.
Some creatives are better at this than others. If I could pick anyone to help me make something out of nothing in no time flat, I’d choose Tina Fey for her awesome powers of improv.
Read “The Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life And Reduce Belly Fat”, from her ridiculously funny book, Bossypants, and you’ll understand why.
In an Always On world, it's no longer enough to collaborate. You have to improvise. The first Rule of Improvising is you have to AGREE, to say YES to any hair brained idea anyone on your team throws out. The second Rule of Improvising is say YES, AND. Agree and then add something of your own.
Why would you be so agreeable when you could say "No, we can't do that", "No, that's not in the budget" or my all-time favorite "No, I like my idea better". Because an idea that you stumble upon together is likely to be stronger than the idea you would have as individuals.*
I also wish all you Agency big shots looking to hire creatives who can take the Always On heat would stop talking to HR and pick up your own copy of Bossypants and memorize the part where Tina says you need to mix up the types of people coming up with these ideas. Some cerebral, organized "Harvard style" people mixed with some visceral, wacky free thinkers. e.g. Conan O’Brien & Chris Farley.
That's what I wish for. That, or a gig writing for Alec Baldwin.
*Tina Fey, in her Google interview wth Eric Schmidt
**Who thinks Finance will approve this expense?